Prerequisite for entry to Practical and Performance Grades 6–8

Candidates for Practical and Performance Grades 6, 7 and 8 must already have passed one of the following qualifications:

Accepted alternatives

  • Australian Music Examination Board: Grade 5 (or above) in Theory of Music
  • London College of Music: Grade 5 (or above) in Theory of Music (nb: Popular Music Theory is not accepted)
  • The Royal Conservatory of Music [Canada]: both Advanced Rudiments and Basic Harmony
  • Royal Irish Academy of Music: Grade 6 (or above) in Theory & Harmony
  • Trinity College London/Trinity Guildhall: Grade 5 (or above) in Theory of Music
  • University of South Africa: Grade 5 (or above) in Theory of Music
  • Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music & Drama: Grade 5 (or above) in Musicianship
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Grade B (or above) in Music (Higher Level) and grade H3
  • The Open University: A224 Inside Music
  • Music Teachers’ Board: Grade 5 in Music Theory

ABRSM encourages the development of the all-round musician from the earliest stages of learning. We believe that good foundations in performance and theory create confident musicians and as a student progresses, the development of connections between musical skills, knowledge and understanding becomes increasingly important, and is essential to deeper appreciation of how music works.

We believe that such an appreciation is fundamental to effective musical communication in all its forms, enhancing musical awareness, sensitivity and control in performance. Grade 5 in Music Theory, Practical Musicianship or Practical Grade Jazz encompasses essential aspects of musical learning that prepare candidates for solid, sustainable success in practical exams at Grades 6, 7 and 8, as well as laying lifelong foundations for their future as musicians.

For exams to be taken in the UK & Ireland: A copy of the certificate or mark form must be supplied at the time of entry for your Practical or Performance exam, except for ABRSM qualifications taken in the UK or Ireland and gained in or after Period C 1993 (for which supporting documentation will only be required in cases where ABRSM is unable to verify the qualification from its records).

For exams to be taken in all other countries: A copy of the certificate or mark must be sent to your local ABRSM Representative when requested to do so.

ABRSM will consider other qualifications on a case-by-case basis. However, any requests of this nature must be submitted to us at least three weeks before you book your Grade 6–8 Practical or Performance exam.

Please contact our Learning & Qualifications team to do this, submitting a copy of your certificate and/or mark form, and full details of the relevant content of the course/qualification – i.e. one or more of the following: a copy of the syllabus, a course/module transcript, examples of past papers. Any documentation that is not in English must be accompanied by a certified official translation.

If your qualification is accepted, a letter of confirmation will be issued to you. You should submit this letter when entering for your Practical or Performance exam.

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